Ellie Ultra: An Extra-Ordinary Girl


Image Credit: Stone Arch Books (Capstone), Gina Bellisario/Jessika von Innerebner

What a cute series!

Ellie Ultra is super in every way but when she switches from home school to public school, she suddenly feels out of place. She’s a little too strong, quick and brilliant for her teachers and classmates, so making friends is more difficult than she expects. It doesn’t help that Dex Diggs is a bully (and most definitely a budding-super villain)! When Ellie “borrows” her parents’ Ultra Remote invention, she can finally turn off her “super” but being “ordinary” doesn’t feel quite right. When evil Captain Blob & the Goo Crew invade her classroom, she has to make a difficult decision. Should she continue to fit in by suppressing her powers, or let them loose and save the day??

This book is very fast paced; the story whooshes by in a flurry of action. Though the pace is fast, Bellisario does a nice job of fleshing out her characters. Ellie’s parents are engaged, supporting and loving of their super girl. Ellie is always eager to help others, no matter what. Her selflessness makes her a good person, and a good super hero-in-training. Kids can relate to the issues Ellie faces in this book like being different, fitting in, making new friends and going from home school to public school. Von Innerebner’s digital illustrations are vivid and engaging. I love how she illustrates Ellie; her expressions and body language showcase her confidence and can-do attitude.

I love that Ellie is a Black girl! This series has a healthy dose of “black girl magic” especially since Ellie is a super hero! It’s so great to see. Bellisario also includes a glossary, discussion points and writing exercises to help children connect the story to real life. It’s not easy settling into a new space when you feel different from everyone else. It’s also not easy when the people you desperately want to connect to make you feel odd. There’s a lot to discuss in this story!

I hope you’ll check this one out! It’s a nice new series for beginning readers and if your child enjoys this one, there are three more in the series!!



Recommended for: 1st-2nd Grade and up
Great for: Friendship, Confidence, Family, Beginning Readers, Super Heroes, Black Girl Magic, Determination, Problem-Solving, School Life
Book Info: Ellie Ultra: An Extra-Ordinary Girl by Gina Bellisario/Illustrated by Jessika von Innerebner, 2016 Stone Arch Books (Capstone), ISBN: 9781496531445




Image Credit: Roaring Brook Press, Stephen Savage

Image Credit: Roaring Brook Press, Stephen Savage

I really love a clean line and an image that “pops.” Maybe that’s why I love illustrators like Bob Staake and Dan Yaccarino. Well, now I’m adding Stephen Savage to my exclusive “list” because I love his book Supertruck. I already loved this book and then I read it for story time and let me tell you, the kids (boys especially) stopped playing with their toy cars and gravitated towards me in Zombie Mode. ^__^  They were totally enthralled by this book, and for good reason. It is awesome.

Garbage truck has (duh duh duh) a secret identity and during a massive snow storm, he takes off his glasses and becomes…Supertruck! This book is clever and simple and is great for young readers because it is short, as I mentioned earlier the illustrations are clean and vibrant and the beginning of the book talks about different kinds of trucks! I know some of you parents out there have three year olds who know already know what front loaders are and love a whirring fire truck. They’ll really love this one. How can you resist a good super hero/truck combo book? Check it out.

Recommended for: Toddlers
Great for: Storytime, Super Heroes, Trucks, Read-Aloud, Colors
Book Info: Supertruck by Stephen Savage, 2015 Roaring Brook Press, ISBN: 9781596438217